When we first put freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren on our rankings of the 10 Democrats most likely to wind up as the party’s presidential nominee in 2016, many people scoffed.
She just got elected! She’s not interested in running! It’s too damn early! Get off my lawn! (All but that last one is true.)
But, a new Quinnipiac poll proves why Warren would be formidable in 2016 if she decided to run. Using a feeling thermometer — 0 meaning you feel totally cold about a politician, 100 meaning you feel warmly (aka) strong favorably toward a pol — Quinnipiac tested the majority of major national figures.
Warren finished third — behind only New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (53.1 degrees) and Hillary Clinton (52.1 degrees). She finished ahead of, among others, President Obama, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vice President Joe Biden.
Here’s why the thermometer matters — and matters for Warren in particular. It’s a measure of passion, which is, of course, the sine qua non of politics. While passion isn’t everything — fundraising matters, organization matters — it’s hard to get elected to anything without passionate supporters.
And, Warren quite clearly evokes that passion. Need examples beyond the poll? Warren collected more than $42 million for her 2012 Senate campaign, a massive sum that is indicative of the passion — and national following — that Warren evokes. Then there is the speech she gave at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which, if you forgot, was among the best received addresses of the gathering.